posted Tue, 26 Oct 2004
Is it just me or does anyone else find long, detailed voicemails incredibly annoying? After lunch, I had a voicemail from a colleague – “Suzy Q” – I otherwise just love, but in this particular thing, she makes me nuts. It’s odd, because Suzy is pretty much perfect in every other way. You definitely want her on your team. I have even shared my bonus with her—twice. Yes. I have given her money from my own pocket. That is how great she is.
But this is Suzy’s fatal flaw. I have watched her leave these messages and I always wonder if other recipients want to tear out their hair.
I know there is a circle in hell for people who leave long, detailed phone messages. Or maybe I am already in hell for something I did to someone in a past life.
She leaves a detailed background of the situation – stuff you don’t want and don’t need to know – and then she launches into the current situation. Something like this:
“Class Factotum, last month, Bobby – you know, that really nice guy in the Fort Smith factory with the beard? – started calling about this problem at the plant and I’ve been trying to get it worked out and I called Tony and he doesn’t think we can fix it and neither does Jimmy Ray and I’ve looked at the databases but I don’t think it’s in our systems now and we need these files for January to September but not July and only for seven factories but remember we have to include all the patent numbers but you know there was that time in June when the server went down and all the invoices had to be loaded by hand in Milwaukee so we’ll have to make sure to footnote that…”
Does this sound like the sort of information you would remember if someone told you in a message?
Remember also that I am a very cranky person. I also read about a gajillion times faster than I hear.
When I got this message today, I lost my patience and hit “delete” in the middle of it. I sent Suzy an email and asked her to email me all the details, as it sounded like a very complicated request. I didn’t want to be mean or rude – I really do want to get her what she wants – I just want it to be right and I want to do it in the most efficient way possible. Am I wrong? Am I so wrong on this?
Suzy forwarded me the request from the guy who wanted the report in the first place! Why didn’t she do that rather than call? I wrote back with some questions. Detailed questions. Questions needing detailed number answers.
What do you think happened?
She left me another long voicemail.
What should I do? Help me.
The end of the line
2 years ago